Chris Tillman Rumors
John Hickey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer jumps into the Erik Bedard fray with some new info. Connecting a few dots - I'm speculating here - it seems possible that the Mets could move to the forefront on Bedard as the Mariners fade. If the Mets pony up Fernando Martinez and some decent pitching depth, maybe Andy MacPhail would go for it.
- Hickey says that with Adam Jones returning to action in Venezuela, "the Mariners have may given up on acquiring Bedard."
- Nonetheless, according to Hickey, the Orioles "appear to be looking at" the Mariners' Chris Tillman and Carlos Triunfel.
- The Orioles originally wanted Brandon Morrow, but that seems unlikely. Hickey adds that Jeff Clement "may be off the table for the moment, too." Clement didn't seem to make a ton of sense for Baltimore anyway.
UPDATE, 1-10-08 at 5:38pm: Churchill has further updated his right-hand sidebar referencing the Reds possibility. He says the O's want Bailey, Votto, Cueto, and Edwin Encarnacion. This is particularly lopsided, and pushing Melvin Mora back to Cincy wouldn't make it any less so. Mora may have negative value at this point. Meanwhile John Fay says nothing new has happened on the Reds/Bedard front.
UPDATE, 1-09-08 at 9:07pm: Rosenthal checks in with an update. If the Mariners would give up Chris Tillman, they could have a done deal. Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein ranks the 19 year-old righty as Seattle's second best prospect, giving him a number two starter ceiling. Rosenthal confirms that Jones is the centerpiece, while George Sherrill and Carlos Triunfel are in play.
Meanwhile, Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider says on the right-hand sidebar of this page that the Reds might step up their offer in an attempt to make a late play. He thinks they could give up Homer Bailey, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, and a fourth player, which would be absurd.
FROM 1-09-08 at 9:03am:
On Tuesday, both Ken Rosenthal and Jason Churchill carefully stated that the Orioles and Mariners were making progress on an Erik Bedard trade. The deal would center around Adam Jones but include other good young players as well. The Reds and Indians were named as other lingering Bedard suitors.
Larry Stone of the Seattle Times checked in on the Bedard situation today. His MLB source agreed that talks between the Mariners and Orioles have heated up. Andy MacPhail, however, would not use the words "heating up." Stone goes on to mention that the Mets "could be players" for Bedard in addition to the Ohio teams. Contrary to earlier reports, Stone was able to extract a quote from Ms GM Bill Bavasi that indicated Brandon Morrow was not off limits.
John Hickey admits that the rumors won't die but doesn't think the Mariners have made any actual progress on a deal. He agrees that Morrow seems a bit more available than he did before. Hickey suggests Josh Fogg could be a backup plan to Bedard for Seattle, noting that Fogg likes the idea of pitching in Safeco. The Reds are also believed to have interest in Fogg.
Erik Bedard staying put in Baltimore this winter? Maybe not. Ken Rosenthal and Jason Churchill both busted out brand new material this evening with the latest Bedard chatter. The upshot is that the Mariners seem to have a decent shot at him.
- Rosenthal says the Mariners will put Adam Jones, Jeff Clement, and Matt Tuiasosopo in the deal. He indicates that the Orioles could push to substitute and get one of Tony Butler, Chris Tillman, and Carlos Triunfel. Looks like Bill Bavasi is sticking to the idea of keeping Brandon Morrow. Rosenthal hedges his bets, but admits to "growing indications that the teams could be moving closer to a deal."
- Churchill says something similar: the Mariners and Orioles "may very well be making significant progress." Churchill sees a package of Jones, Triunfel, and George Sherrill as the likely scenario.
- Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein recently listed his Top 11 Prospects for the Mariners. Clement was a five-star, Tillman and Triunfel four-stars, Butler a two-star, and Tuiasosopo an honorable mention. Jones would be first were he still considered a prospect.
- Both Ohio teams have interest in Bedard as well, but a trade to the Indians or Reds seems less likely. The Reds still won't give up Jay Bruce.